Olesya Vladykina

Age

29

Country:

Russia

Sport:

Swimming

2014 IPC Swimming European Championships: 100m breaststroke

2013 IPC Swimming World Championships: 100m breaststroke

London 2012 Paralympics: 100m breaststroke

2011 IPC Swimming European Championships: 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley; 50m freestyle

2010 IPC Swimming World Championships: 100m breaststroke

2014 IPC Swimming European Championships: 200m individual medley, 100m backstroke, 4 x 100m medley relay 34 points

2013 IPC Swimming World Championships: 4 x 100m medley relay 34 points

London 2012 Paralympics: 200m medley

2011 IPC Swimming European Championships: 100m freestyle, 4x100m medley relay

2010 IPC Swimming World Championships: 200m individual medley

2014 IPC Swimming European Championships: 50m freestyle S8 and 4 x 100m medley relay 34 points

2013 IPC Swimming World Championships: 200m individual medley

London 2012 Paralympics: 100m backstroke

2011 IPC Swimming European Championships: 100m backstroke, 4x100m freestyle relay

2010 IPC Swimming World Championships: 50m freestyle & 4x100m medley relay

In early 2008 Olesya Vladykina lost her left arm in a bus accident in Thailand. Already a keen swimmer and with a strong philosophy of “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” Olesya decided to try out for the Beijing 2008 Paralympics. She competed and was crowned Paralympic champion, breaking the world record in the 100m breaststroke. She dedicated her gold medal to her best friend, who had sadly died in the bus accident.
Two years later, Vladykina proved her class, winning the world title in the 100m breaststroke at the 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in the Netherlands. She added a silver medal in the 200m individual medley and two bronze medals in the 50m freestyle and the 4x100m medley relay.
At the 2011 IPC Swimming European Championships, Vladykina impressed her rivals by winning a total of seven medals, including the gold medals in her favourite event, the 100m breaststroke, as well as the 200m individual medley and the 50m freestyle. In addition, she won two silver medals (100m freestyle, 4x100m medley relay) and two bronze medals (100m backstroke, 4x100m freestyle relay).
In her second Paralympic Games in London, Vladykina won one of each medal and thrilled the crowds with some epic battles against USA’s Jessica Long and Great Britain’s Heather Frederiksen.
In addition to being one of the world’s top swimmers, Vladykina was an ambassador for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. As the Mayor of the Athlete's Village, she also lit the Paralympic flame during the Opening Ceremony. As part of her ambassadorial role Vladykina learned to ice skate so she could receive the Paralympic flag on behalf of Sochi 2014 at the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

There is nothing I cannot achieve when I put my mind to it